Sports can be so many things to so many different people, entertainment, socialization, an escape, health...but for some it has even more value, a value I hope most of us do not ever have to experience.
Despite the fact that some may consider professional sports and the athletes who play them to be rather frivolous in the larger scheme of things, and they likely have a very good point. Yet, regularly, the biggest wish that terminally ill children have is to meet their sports idols in person. There may be something about the ability to focus on something other than their own battles that let's them just be a kid for an hour so, or perhaps feel an odd sort of kinship with these athletes pushing their bodies to achieve goals most people cannot hope to attain.
I don't have an answer for what the connection is, or why is as common and powerful as it has shown itself to be.
A little over a year ago, six days after his 11th birthday, Seattle Storm fan, Brandon Brauns lost his seven year battle with brain cancer. Brandon was a season ticket holder for the Storm, served as honorary captain and had the opportunity to meet with many of the Storm players over the years.
The strength and selflessness of this child had him organizing fund raisers from his hospital bed and creating a toy drive for Seattle Children's Hospital at Christmas only months before his final passing.
His family have continued in their son's tradition, turning their grief and love into hope for other children and families facing similar battles.
Most of us will not have to face the trials, the pain, and be required to show the strength and capacity for hope and love that Brandon and his family have shown. We can however honor that courage, strength and hope.
Brandon's family have created the Brandon's Goal Foundation and they are joining with the Seattle Storm to raise money for Brandon's Goal Foundation on the July 9th Storm game against the LA Sparks. You purchase single tickets for the game or purchase a four pack of tickets which comes with t-shirts and wrist bands.
I am inspired by this young man and his family and encourage everyone to support them.
Prior to the start of the season, Jayda Evans at the Seattle time asked each player to finish the sentence, "A champion is...." I look no further than Brandon and his mother to find my answer to that question.